What an absolute shame. In short, it looks like I will have to rebuild my little empire. And I have a few tricks up my sleeves.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the whole YouTube bell icon thing on top of subscribing is ridiculous. I virtually lost over 95% of the subscribers Twisted4kStudios has been garnishing over the last 7 years or so simply because of its implementation. The last few videos I published that went viral were not because of them, but rather the fact that they started trending and appearing in people's suggested videos. When you have a video with its own original topic that's not correlated with anything that people are actively watching, your only realistic bet on the ones who will view it are your subscribers. And it's a little difficult to notify them of its existence when the website refuses to notify them. If YouTube wanted to have the bell thing, it would have been nice if they had it on by default for all of the channels users were already subscribed to. It's almost like being subscribed to a magazine, and then after a few months you realize you haven't gotten anything from them because the company thought you weren't reading them. It's completely crazy, but then again, it's YouTube, what can you really expect?
What an absolute shame. In short, it looks like I will have to rebuild my little empire. And I have a few tricks up my sleeves.
It took me longer than anything I've ever worked on in my life, but Mick the Mercenary: The Rescue is done. I started production on it shortly after Mick the Mercenary: The Movie was released as a way to help raise awareness of its existence, but it ended up being a drastically huge project that took quite a while to animate. I am happy with how it turned out, but how many people will actually lay eyes on it? I think the answer to that is completely up in the air; it's an original animation with no references to anything, so I have no idea who will be able to find it online. We shall see.
So now what? I finished a script for the next video that won't take me two years to finish. From now on, uploads should be a lot more frequent. Stay tuned!
I can't believe it's been 6 months since my last post here. Half a year. It's just been so busy. Working full time, moving to a new house, it's been nuts. But things are finally starting to settle. I spent so much of my free time on this Madness Combat fan game, Madness Gemini. I wanted to get it done in time for Madness Day, but the workload did not allow me to. Ah well, at least I'm fashionably late!
It's been so long since I've finally finished and published a game, and it's a nice feeling. There was so much more I wanted to add in and edit, but I really needed to just get that MVP; every time I thought I was done, something else just kept coming up in development. But if people play it and like it, I'll continue to update and patch it.
This actually worked out perfectly because this was a game system idea I had for a bit, and I wasn't sure if it was going to work or not. What a better way to test it then with Madness characters? I think it works, but I'll have to wait and see what the players have to say.
I'm also getting close to finishing a video I've been working on for over a year now. That is also exciting.
Download Madness Gemini right here, or play it on Newgrounds! Downloading it gives you the advantages of having a full-screen option as well as raw 44khz audio, versus the online version which is exported at MP3 160kbps (not as good, but smaller and can actually get uploaded to the site).
Hello, peeps! Recently I've officially been garnishing near full-time work doing what I love to do: animating! It is now my day job, and for the time being it looks like it should stay pretty consistent. Looking forward, it might turn into something much more.
And when I'm done animating for the day, what do I do? You got it, animation! I'm gettin' pretty close with this video and I'm so excited to finally release it. I also want to publish more artwork, but most of it has really just been for practice... it's been a little rare, as you may have been witnessing, that I upload something I think's decent. I've really been trying to focus my efforts on this video, though, so... plbtlbplbltpl
Outside of sitting while pushing buttons and staring at a screen for almost the entire days' time, I've been hitting the gym, eating better, and going out of my way to relax at the end of it all. I learned from someone I really admire that it's important to relax deliberately. Work hard play hard, as they say. It's true. Life's been good. 2019 is turning out to be awesome, and what's odd is that it's not only for me, but for almost everyone else I know in my life; it's like we're all going through changes or something.
Happy Valentine's Day!
I haven't been posting much lately for two reasons, one, there isn't much news you haven't already read to report, and two, I've been busy. I practically have weekly animation commissions now, and though the animation is relatively simple, it still takes up time. Combining that with the fact that I'm working on a big cartoon that I've been on for nearly a year, and that I'm practicing drawing in general, it makes for a very tired Twisted.
These last few weeks have been a little heartbreaking, if you were to ask what's been going on in my little emotions. Keeping it brief, and since none of this has to be publicized to begin with, I've been having a few relationship issues. It's painful craving affection or communication from someone you want to spend time with, however deep your feelings may be, but they simply don't feel the same way, or, at least, aren't willing to share what's going on in their own heads with you. Although not always the case, it can sometimes feel like total rejection. We've all got our own little imps we deal with, but one that keeps coming back for me is this one, I realize. But perhaps it's just karma, I've done the same thing to others for my own reasons, feeling as if they're justified. Maybe there isn't anyone else to blame.
It raises the question why we desire to be with those who don't even care to be with us. At times it feels like arbitrary emotions are hijacking my logical reasoning. All of this stuff really messes with your mind, which affects your body, your spirit, and progress and performance of projects. I try to just turn my brain off and work, just get this stuff done, because it's just what I love to do. I love finally publishing something I'm happy about and being able to share it with those who find it entertaining. Which brings me to another thing...
They say don't focus on numbers, how many people are looking at your stuff, how many people are clicking a like button, etc. All very true, confidence comes from within, and you shouldn't actively be looking for people's approval and praise. That being said, even if you feel something you created (in my instance, artwork) is good, and after publishing it and getting a very underwhelming response, and then comparing it to something you feel is similar which gets a much more positive, impacting reaction, it makes you question yourself. You start to wonder "is this actually good", "am I just attached because I made this", "am I just crazy", and so on. The world and websites are very biased, but when that bias seemingly is against you, it can truly kill your confidence if you're not grounded.
So basically if you got anything out of this post, just stop overthinking. Hope you and your sweetheart have a nice Valentine's Day, and if you don't have anyone right now, be your own sweetheart.
We all knew this month would come.
Just droppin' in to whoever is reading these things that I'm doing a lot of stuff still. I was about to change the site update sign to somewhere in November, and then I realized it wasn't November anymore. I can't believe my last post was in September. Time has been flying by so fast for me it's been insane.
Why? Still working on a big animation project for the channel, and then there's also commission work I've been doing. Tryin' to bring home the bucks. I wanted to draw more, but because of all this work, and on top of my day job, it's been nuts. However, for those of you who care, life has been pretty kind and generous to me as of late, and I do have the time to get everything done. Remember, having time is a choice.
I really want to get the video released before 2019, but due to its quality level, and if I want to keep it consistent, I don't see it happening... unless I REALLY BOOK IT!! Wish me luck.
Madness Day is just about 30 hours away, and I'll have a new animation uploaded then. In the meantime, I figured I'd make a post about, after being an aspiring writer, game developer, animator and artist as well as a hobbyist music composer and voice actor for a lot of my life, there's a lot I have learned. There's a lot of do's and don'ts that I have concluded thus far if you do not wish for your progress, productivity, and general spirit to be staggered, if not completely broken. And if you are any sort of ambitious media creator as well--no matter what medium it may be--you are free to read what I have to write, and I hope it does you well.
First and foremost, nearly everyone in the community of art and general creation, from what I've both experienced and observed, are a more sensitive people; we're a bit more perceptive, intuitive and emotional than many out there, and this is what normally leaves a heart in us that has this burning desire to create and express ourselves artistically, whatever form that may come in. Those who feel they are sensitive people in an insensitive world tend to have these symptoms. Due to this, it is in our earliest nature to take things more personally. Not to say that "other types of people" don't, but again, from a general perspective, this is what I believe is true.
Now, when we receive criticism for what we have may spent an immense amount of time and effort on, of course our initial reaction as humans is to become defensive; subconsciously, we see our creations as an extension of us, not something that we just made in the past. And it's funny to think that there's people out there that are so insanely insecure that they even get violently defensive over some of the pettiest things, such as products that they purchase, what food and drinks they like to consume, what they wear, what kind of car they drive, what games they play, so on and so forth. These things simply are not extensions of ourselves.
But the main point I want to bring up with this are these two facts that my little journey of life so far has taught me:
1) People who are confident do not care about what others think of them.
2) People always want others to feel the way that they feel.
It's incredible how true these two statements have proven to be based on what I witness every single day of my life, whether it be in the art/animation community here online, or at Walmart. These just seem to be two undeniable facts that I have yet to see be contradicted, and my belief in this is further solidified based on how I used to behave (and at times still struggle with) as well.
So what am I saying here and what does this have anything to do with being a media developer and taking criticism? First off, never take criticism personally. Yeah, you've heard that one many, many times by now, and you've probably figured out that that is a lot more easily said than done. But here's something you may not have heard much of: criticism is often times meant to be personal, not to help guide you to improving your skills and talents.
There are loads and loads of envious, jealous, bitter people out there of all ages and backgrounds that are deliberately on a mission to tear down what they see has the potential to be successful. Why? Because they lack confidence, have low--if not any--self-esteem, and they want others to feel the way that they feel. They feel like crap, so what do they do? Give people compliments and try to help them with their endeavors? Usually not. Instead, they want others to feel like crap, too. Why is this? It's because so they can feel better by comparison; these people do not like who they are, they do not like their life, they are completely miserable, and instead of trying to better themselves because of it, they take the path that just feels easier to them: hatred. They choose to hate what is around them, seeing every negative aspect they can pick out of everything everybody does, creates, and is. Because they hate themselves. But again, I firmly believe that people want others to feel the way that they feel. So if they hate themselves, guess who else they hate? You got it: everyone else.
And these are the types of people I classify as "arrogant"; arrogance essentially boils down to artificial confidence. If someone is not confident, they try to bring others down, rather than to help them to rise up. If someone feels as if they are worthless and never succeeding, why in the world would they want to see others get what they want but do not have?
Now this brings me to part two of my little post here: people who are happy do not want to screw anybody over; they're confident, and over time and through what life has taught them, they chose to be receptive and learn the very basic laws of the way the world works, instead of choosing to be arrogant and take "their own path". If you're happy, content, and confident with your life, you won't have a desire to mess with anybody. You won't have a desire to make others feel bad.
The trouble with criticism is that it is in this murky blend of people who genuinely just want to help and want to see you improve, and people who just hate themselves and want you to feel bad because of it. But 100% of the time, these people loaded with self-hatred will never, ever admit it.
They will always disguise their "constructive criticism" as existing because of reasons such as, "I'm just pointing it out so you know", "if something can be better, it should be better," and "what you did 'wasn't correct.'"
Again, if someone hates themselves, why in the world would they care about watching somebody else improve? It's simply a psychological paradox and their argument fails, every single time. Arrogant people do not want to admit that they are arrogant, so they lie about it. Don't believe me? Call someone out on it and immediately watch them get aggressive and hostile towards you. It will happen literally every single time.
EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
"You suck," "you'll never become a good artist," and general childish name-calling are not constructive pieces of criticism; they are in fact what I like to call destructive pieces of criticism. They don't offer anything for the creator to build off of, they're just negative words, and nothing more. If someone sees a project you are working on, digs it up and makes a post about it on one of their social media accounts stating that "this person doesn't know what they're doing," how is that constructive criticism? It isn't, it's just a symptom of self-hatred; they just want to show their followers someone that they want to believe is "not as good as them" exists.
Let me just conclude this quickly because I could just go on and on about symptoms of negativity in people who claim to be "critiquing" your work; here is my personal advice from one human being to another:
1) Never take criticism personally, even if it actually is designed to be personal and not constructive. Even if you're still a bit new and tend to take things more harshly than they're intended to be, frame what you were told about your work positively. Instead of thinking "oh, this person's right, I suck," flip it around and tell yourself "hey, my new drawing/animation/whatever will now be even better than this!" And trust me, later in time as you improve, you will not care about how "bad" your previous work is. And again, if the person is just trying to attack you for making something they couldn't, ignore them. Listen to what allows you to improve, and ignore what is just an attempt in tearing you apart.
2) You are awesome. Don't forget it and don't let negative, bitter, envious people bring you down because they see that in you. The only people that want to bring you down are the ones that feel down themselves. People who are happy do not want to mess with others.
3) What you focus on expands, and what you ignore, dies. If you angrily reply to hateful comments on your work, you are feeding them. However, if you ignore them and realize that whoever said/wrote that about your work is miserable and they want you to feel just as awful as they do, laugh at how much time they're wasting and how they're only making things worse for themselves, and begin focusing on what makes you feel happy and what actually makes you improve.
None of this is easy to learn, but nothing that doesn't cause any initial pain is not worth doing. Nobody became amazingly talented at what they do and had no times of hardship. The storm may last a while, but it will never last forever. Be kind to one another, practice, practice, practice, indulge in every good feeling that you are blessed with, and frame even the most harsh of criticisms you receive as positively as you can; bad people exist, and the world will not change for us, but we can change ourselves. No matter what.
It's been a rough year. Productive, but rough, emotionally. I've been working on multiple projects, some that I felt like starting, some mandatory. For those of you wondering, as usual, YES, Team Fortress School IS one of the projects. But I've been hitting some more inevitable speed-bumps with it lately... getting voice work finalized has been proving to be difficult.
There's a game I've been developing in the meantime for the last few months, and though going well and functioning properly, I've been hitting some writer's blocks with it. It's incredible how much time can pass and you can get literally nothing done, just waiting and waiting and waiting on a good idea, something to move you forward... and it's like, no matter how hard you utilize your spare time to come up with something, it seemingly never comes to you. You have the full capability to move forward, but the idea just isn't there, you don't have anything to work with.
On the positive side, animation in general has been looking very good in my eyes and I'm happy to see how some stuff I've been cooking up lately has been turning out... that being said, knowing that it's already June, I feel like I hit a mid-life animation crisis of some kind... the year's already half-done, and still nothing new really got uploaded lately. Even if I know stuff WILL be published soon, seeing it from the audience's perspective, I definitely understand how it looks like nothing is going on. I really have been trying hard to get these projects done, but life, trouble with individuals out there, work in order to stay alive and have a place to live... there's just so much getting in the way, and even when I have no more obligations for the day and am alone, I get emotionally overwhelmed at times and I just can't seem to get much production taken care of. I really have been trying, and this past week, things have noticeably been getting better, but it's been far from easy. I really am trying, I really do want to have more work published, and I really, REALLY want this to become my career one day, one day soon. It's just been rough.
A lot has been going on. It hasn't been awful, it hasn't been great, it's just been... weird. Progress of the projects have been good but recently I hit a bit of a writer's block in just about all of them simultaneously. Like, what do I animate next? What moves do I make this guy do? What do I start on afterward? I end up staring at the screen for an hour and realize I didn't get anything done. This cycle has repeated multiple times for the past week and I'm getting tired of it. I'm trying to break free of its shackles, but life in general has hit me with a few curveballs and it's getting on my nerves. When mentally you're not doing so hot, it will come out in your work, and perhaps that is what is going on. I hope I can get it together soon. I know I can, it's just a matter of when.
It's still a bit early, but it's been very disappointing; the film I recently uploaded was, compared to the amount of subscribers the channel has, barely viewed by anyone. Not necessarily because they did not click on it, but mainly because, apparently, most of them weren't even notified whatsoever by YouTube that it was uploaded. I don't know how the site's system works exactly, but obviously there is some kind of system it has implicated in it (most likely recently) that picks and chooses who gets to see what. My theory is that Mick the Mercenary: The Movie, being a film and not a cartoon--as cartoons are primarily why people subscribed in the first place--had an extremely limited release; I've had viewers tell me they didn't see it in their subscription box.
I don't know what the system is and I don't know why it exists, but it's stupid. Regardless of what someone originally subscribed for, why limit the notifications down to less than 1% simply because a clearly faulty system believes it picked up on something somewhat unrelated to what the channel usually shows? What is this supposed to accomplish? When someone subscribes, they want to be notified when the channel has a new video uploaded. Why remove the one and only function of that? What's the point of even having people subscribe at that point?
There's a channel I have that has about 500 subscribers that had a video uploaded to it today. Within hours, it reached about 600 views. The channel with over 50,000 subscribers' video took 4 days to reach that. How innovative.
YouTube's just been a sinking ship for so many reasons the past few years, but unfortunately this, to me, is just a final nail in the coffin. Sadly, there currently aren't any realistic websites that provide the same services YouTube does. Nobody is or even knows about any of the site's equivalents. There's nowhere else to go.
It's a shame. I want to be doing this animating/directing stuff for real one day, and seeing the way things are now, that day couldn't come a moment too soon. Here's hoping.
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